Category Archives: Complementary Therapies

Nutrition, Body Care, Emotional, Mental, Social, Spiritual, Guides

How to Cope with Anger During Lockdown

There are so, so many legitimate things to feel angry about right now. Cancer. Your changed life. Now the coronavirus pandemic. The basic, reliable structures of your life have collapsed, compounding your pain. It feels so overwhelming.

Your rage is multiplied, complicated, and justified. And on top of that, you are locked up, either alone or with loved ones, as if a prisoner in your own home. It’s like you’re sitting in your personal pressure cooker, where grief, resentments, and blame build to the explosive point.

It’s something none of us have really dealt with before. It’s a hard time for all of us.

We want relief from that constant niggling agitation we might feel. Our minds acknowledge that life is way out of whack, but that doesn’t always translate into compassion for ourselves and each other. To cope, it seems easiest to disconnect our awareness from our bodies. We sometimes end up self-destructing with food and alcohol and maybe even lashing out at those whom we love. I find myself eating a lot more chocolate and popcorn these days, and I have been less patient with my son.

Even though our ways of dealing with stress can be quick fixes to ease our discomfort, they are ineffective ways of coping. While we might feel some sense of relief, these knee-jerk reactions usually make us feel worse in the end.

Processing

We can’t control these difficult external events, but we can control our internal attitudes, behaviors, and choices. We get to choose if we are going to be victims of our circumstances, or if we’re going to rise up and take responsibility for ourselves and our own lives.

If we look underneath our anger, grief, and sorrow, we will probably find an incredible sense of powerlessness, as if the floor is giving way underneath us. It may not feel like it at the time, but this sensation is just an emotion—energy in motion within our bodies. While it’s scary to feel these feelings for what they are, our emotions alone do no harm. They are the result of a chemical dump from our brains into our bloodstreams. For the emotions to lift—which is where we can find relief—these sensations need to be deeply felt without our minds running interference.

So have a seat, or lie down on your bed. Tune in to your body. Where is that irritating feeling of powerlessness sitting? Can you feel the rage putting pressure someplace inside you? If so, take a moment to feel it. Allow it to be what it is without any thoughts or words. Give it your whole, undivided attention without judgment. That’s all it wants, anyway.

Your emotions, if felt fully and deeply, will lift after ninety seconds. If it lasts longer than ninety seconds, you’re probably engaging your mind and thinking about what’s bothering you. That’s not helping you right now. Let the thoughts go, and if you can’t, write them down and shred them. Then try the process again.

Another strategy you can use is to breathe deeply while mindfully observing your anger, grief, and powerlessness. Just look at it. Don’t judge it or act on it. Instead, have compassion for whatever it is you’re feeling. It’s a human response to an inhumane situation; there is no logical reason to feel ashamed or guilty about your feelings.

By loving yourself enough to experience the energy moving inside your body, without thinking about what makes you upset, you can allow it to harmlessly shift around until it evaporates.

Integrating

            Once the emotions lift, you can begin reorganizing your reality, away from the victim mentality and toward opportunities, learning, and desires. There are so many free educational and entertaining options available online. Perhaps focus on gratitude that these choices—vastly more wonderful than at any other time in history—are accessible to you right here, right now. I find these gifts extraordinary.

For example, I finally got my son to watch the movie “The Cold Blue” so he could see what his grandfather lived through during World War II. I watched a documentary about children’s show host Fred Rogers, of “Won’t you be my neighbor?” fame, and was amazed. Fred had the uncanny ability to explain difficult concepts, like “assassination,” to help children cope with national crises. Most recently, I participated in free online meditations.

These would never have happened without the lockdown and the generosity of others. With gratitude, I find my attention shifts and so does my internal awareness. It’s a lovely, empowering gift to myself and relieves the stress of living in lockdown.

 

10 Ways to Improve Your Immunity

“carrots and mushrooms help the body produce more white blood cells. This explains the emphasis on carrot juicing among health practitioners. Beta-carotene, which makes carrots orange, apparently protects the thymus gland. Maitake mushrooms are helpful as well.”
Thriver Soup, p.61

“My chiropractor, M. Jay Panyko, suggested visualizing white blood cells emerging from my thymus gland like popcorn. Or you can try the image of a blizzard emerging from your bones. Play with various images until you find what works for you.”
Thriver Soup, pg. 62

“Acupressure–pressing the energy pathways that course through the body–can be used to improve immunity. Place your right heel in the juncture between the bones that attach to the large and second toes. Rub, then switch sides.”
Thriver Soup, p. 156

A system of hand and finger gestures, called mudras or hand yoga, was developed long ago in India to enhance health.
“To improve immunity: Bend your ring finger and little finger and touch them with the tip of your thumb. Keep the remaining two fingers stretched out and touching each other.
“While doing the gestures, try to keep your hands as relaxed as possible, and maintain gentle pressure. Adding deep breathing is a plus.”
Thriver Soup, p. 173

“EFT also can provide support for … improving immunity…. I used EFT and other processes fairly effectively for raising my white blood cell counts.
“There are many online videos for tapping to achieve a variety of results. Look for one associated with your issue. EFT practitioners recommended to me include Rebecca Marina and Margaret Lynch, both of whom have YouTube videos showing their techniques. I took one of Lynch’s EFT videos and adapted the wording to suit my particular need. Create your own dialogue, using their patterns, for an effective self-treatment.”
Thriver Soup, pp.202-203

“Dean Ornish, MD, explained part of the mechanism in his book, ‘Love and Survival.’ One’s immune system loses some of its effectiveness when a person experiences marital conflict, and women are more prone to negative changes than men.”
Thriver Soup, pg. 97

“Berries … apparently are nutritional powerhouses. They boost the immune system and provide cell-protecting antioxidants.”
Thriver Soup, pg. 117

Curcumin, a component of the spice turmeric, “stimulates the immune system.”
Thriver Soup, pg. 119

“Resentment depresses the immune system; joy revs it up.”
Thriver Soup, pg. 150

“Polysaccharide-K (PSK, also known as PSP and Krestin) is derived from a mushroom commonly called turkey tail. Double-blind studies have demonstrated increased survival rates among those taking PSK because these mushrooms affect the malignant process in several ways. Their two primary benefits are stimulating the immune system and working against tumors.”
Thriver Soup, pg. 134

Managing Coronavirus Anxiety

For a cancer patient, anxiety is almost a given, nearly as insidious as the disease itself.
Our immune systems are already compromised. Now we have a novel new virus to deal with–one humans have never encountered before.
It can be terrifying. The what-if’s can crowd out everything else, even to the point of making you throw up. It can overwhelm at almost any stage of the process, including when treatment is over and someone is considered cured.
My psychotherapist pointed out that anxiety starts with the emotion of fear in the body. For me, the fear usually showed up in my tense face and gut. Then my brain kicked in, producing anxiety. I had “so many bad thinks,” as tai chi Grandmaster Vince Lasorso pointed out.
The key to letting go of the anxiety and the bad thinks was to refocus my attention on the sensations in my body. I realized my thinking about my dread was my way of escaping the actual emotion, which showed up as uncomfortable sensations in my body.
Through practice, I was able to identify the fear in my body, to allow it to be what it was, and to stop my bad thinks. While learning this technique, it helped me to refocus my mind on things that were beautiful, admirable, and true—the reflection of sunlight on pine needles, the sweet scent of cinnamon, the vibration of a dulcimer. Another prescription for anxiety that helped was to pray. Bringing my fears to the Spirit and asking for assistance helped me let go of some bad thinks. A third method was refocusing on anything for which I could feel grateful. Even a small thing, like “Today I opened my eyes again.”
With practice, the need for anxiety pills—if you take them—might lessen. Maybe you can, after discussion with your doctor, ditch them. You can create a new prescription—one that relies on your focused attention and reduces the chemical burden on your body.

Thriver Soup Ingredient:
When you feel anxious, check in with how your body feels. Are you tense in your face? Does your chest tighten? Does your stomach contract? Try to let go of your thoughts and simply focus on the sensation in your body. Allow it to be what it is. Allow it to move around; allow it to get intense; and allow it to dissolve. If you feel it without thinking any thoughts (like gee, this is taking a long time), the sensations will lift after 90 seconds. Repeat as often as necessary. Sometimes I had to repeat for more than an hour before I could get on with my day. And if your brain still insists on thinking, try to redirect your thoughts to the Divine or practice offering gratitude—even if only for a moment.

ABCs of Thriving in Life

Great news! My October annual X-ray shows I continue to be free of any evidence of disease. Eight years now, after being told to get my affairs in order!

To celebrate this year, I’ll be sharing healing options LIVE at 11 am this Saturday, Nov. 9, at the Valdez Main Library in Tucson, AZ. Come with your questions.

If you’ll be anywhere near Tucson on November 9, I’d love for you to join me for this conversation. Hope to see you there!

The ABC’s of Thriving in Life
Saturday, November 9, 11 AM – 12:30 PM
Joel D Valdez Main Library, 101 N. Stone Ave., Tucson AZ 85701

Discover 3 key ingredients you can apply immediately to thrive in every area of your life. Learn simple new ways to update your Attitudes, Behaviors, and major life Choices to assist with conquering dis-ease and feeling better—for anything from anxiety to cancer to what to do during retirement. This uplifting presentation includes a gentle guided visualization so you can discover your own clues for experiencing more vibrant health.
https://pima.bibliocommons.com/events/5db0a83d75016939005ef066

#cancertreatment #sarcoma #inspirationalspeakers #thriveon

Rebuilding after the fire

sunflowers at Notre Dame web
Sunflowers (symbol of sarcoma cancer) at Notre Dame, many facing north toward the cathedral instead of south toward the sun.

Do you feel like Notre Dame Cathedral, gutted by the fires of cancer treatments? Do you feel like a husk now, burned, weakened, and emptied?

That’s how I felt after my debulking surgery that took nine hours, followed by two years of harsh chemotherapy infusions. Those drugs burned through me and left me devastated and vulnerable.

Yet all was not lost for me, and neither is it for the cathedral. Now when I see pictures of the church’s interior, the altar and cross are still standing as if nothing had happened. The heart of the church is still intact.

My heart, my will to live, was still intact after two years of treatment. I did everything I could to survive, just as the firefighters did everything they could to salvage what they could of Our Lady of Paris.

Now this massive monument is at its most vulnerable and most in need. And so are we while dealing with cancer. Yet people are coming forward to rebuild her, as people came forward to help me rebuild my life, giving generously from their hearts and their time. I hope you are blessed with the same support. To turn down assistance is a disservice to ourselves and others, just as it would be a disservice to Notre Dame to not rebuild her.

Let her stand as a symbol of hope for you—that after the phoenix fire has burned its destructive path, we can rebuild and restore, perhaps winding up even healthier and better. This is my wish for you.

How to make a quick green smoothie

Do you feel like you lack the time and/or energy to make green smoothies? Are you having trouble meeting your quota of three to five servings of dark leafies every day?

Salad greens in a high-speed blender

Here’s a simple smoothie you can make if you have a high-speed blender. It provides dark leafy greens and green tea. One of my brothers even tried it and said it wasn’t bad… that it tasted like foam.

Dark leafies contain beta-carotene, vitamin C, folic acid, and important trace minerals.

green tea
green tea

The main advantage of green tea lies in its polyphenol, EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate). EGCG influences what DNA codes are expressed inside cells. Green tea has been shown to stimulate the immune system, inhibit metastasis, reduce inflammation, provide anti-oxidants, promote the effectiveness of radiotherapy, and detoxify the body. It can even help increase bone density (Thriver Soup, pg. 149).

Of course, talk with your health care provider first (especially if you are on blood thinners).

simple green smoothie
simple green smoothie

Simply load up your blender with salad greens, then add some freshly made green tea cooled with ice. Blend and serve. Viola! Power-packed vitality for your body.

Watch Thriver Soup on Local12 WKRC and enter to win a free copy!

“What’s Happening in Health” with anchor Liz Bonis featured Thriver Soup on Sunday. It starts around minute 16.

https://local12.com/health/whats-happening-in-health/whats-happening-in-health-november-11-2018?fbclid=IwAR26OaY-pqg55iemxeuvmD7dNjMsgRPmNRdZKc5BgwQ9s05Vbx_oMZL0H-U

Be a lucky winner! Like and share Caitlin Wells’s Facebook post about her drawing to win a free signed copy of Thriver Soup! Saturday join Caitlin Wells and me at the Healing Inspirations Center booth at Victory of Light, Sharonville Convention Center. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1123398107784978&set=p.1123398107784978&type=3&theater

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1123398107784978&set=p.1123398107784978&type=3&theater

Photo by James Harrison

 

How to tackle your bucket list

If you have a bucket list of things to do before passing away, how are you doing on getting through your list?

Are you stopping yourself from fulfilling your dreams because you think you can’t do them?
 
Maybe you think you don’t have the funds. Or you feel like crap because of treatment and don’t want to leave home. Or you don’t have anyone to travel with.
 
For most of us, those are just excuses.
 
They are our fears trying to frighten us back into our old patterns.
 
Patterns that keep us stuck.
 
Yet your excuses and your fears can be faced and dealt with.
 
There are work-arounds to get your bucket list accomplished.
 
You have to have the courage to press forward.
 
And you can.
 
There are organizations and websites you can access for bucket-list funding. Too proud to ask? What fear is that pride arising from? Perhaps not wanting to be seen as needing something to help you fulfill your dream?
 
Or too humble to ask? Is that maybe a fear that we aren’t good enough to reach for our dreams? When my mother passed from breast cancer, I was surprised how many people were angry because they were not called upon to help her out. I have learned when we have cancer, people want to help us. Give them that opportunity.
 
If you can sit in a wheelchair for a decent length of time, it should be possible to travel, even if it’s on a cruise ship. In 2010 I scheduled my chemotherapy treatments around a cruise and took my anti-nausea medications with me. I had a fantastic time and checked one trip off my list.
 
And you can request assistance in meeting your goal. If you want to travel, perhaps put out a call for a companion, or if you feel up to it, travel alone. I just returned from an amazing trip in France—traveling solo, driving a rental car with no GPS (I couldn’t get it to work on my phone), and only able to say “Bonjour,” “Merci,” and “Parlez-vous Anglais?”
 
Why France? I wanted to pay homage to a woman who provided a template for healing my life. Her name? Martha of Bethany. Yes, the woman repudiated by Christ in the Gospels for her anger toward her sister, and for “doing” too much.
 
Martha healed after her contact with this Master Teacher. She changed her attitude from resentment into peace, and later served alongside her sister Mary. According to “The Golden Legend,” Martha later changed her behavior by refusing to die a victim on a rudderless boat adrift on the Mediterranean Sea. And she made a major life choice of focusing on “being” more than “doing.”
 
I love this woman and what she represents for me.
 
Why pay homage to her in France? According to the legend, Martha ended up in a small village in what’s now Provence. The community was being terrorized by a “dragon.”
 
Martha faced down that monster while barefoot, using only holy water and a cross. Can you imagine?
 
That’s not the behavior of a victim.
 
She courageously subdued that dragon.
 
Then the villagers killed it.
 
Through her transformed life, Martha demonstrated that I, through my own inner transformation, also could possibly tame the cancer dragon in my body. I could use her example of changing my attitudes, reconstructing my behaviors, and making major life choices to help subdue my own cancer dragon. Then medical treatment could kill it.
 
Since this is my seventh year free of evidence of cancer and free of cancer treatment, I felt it was high time I made my pilgrimage to The Collegiate Church of Saint Martha in Tarascon, which purportedly houses Martha’s relics. It was the third most popular pilgrimage site during the Middle Ages. And it became my biblical Year of Jubilee cancer pilgrimage site.
 
I feel deeply gratified for the experience.
 
Do you want to feel gratified for having accomplished things on your bucket list? Do you still have things to do, activities that are waiting for you to take up the baton and start directing your own life?
 
Or are you making excuses?
 
Sometimes we have to face down our fears before we can take the leap into the dark.
 
Into the unknown.
 
Into joy.
 
Think about each one of your fears.
 
Write each one down.
 
Take a good, hard look at your list.
 
Are there ways to work around what scares you?
 
Are there ways to make your dreams come true?
 
Only you can change your life.
 
Make the most of it.
 
Get on your bucket list.
 
You’ll be glad you did.